When you're betting on football you shouldn't care about teams, managers or referees, but only account for psychology and time. This quote is allegedly attributed to William Hill, a mythical figure in last century's sports betting history. Although no-one can be sure if Will Hill actually said it or if it’s just something that adds to his myth, there's no way you can logically dispute its meaning. Especially when it comes to live betting, this saying is as accurate as sayings can get.
During an in-play session, the remaining time is not only crucial to the punter, but to the bookie as well. Whenever you place a bet before the match's start, the time pressure is obviously not as tense as it is during playing time. In the vast majority of cases the pre-game odds are exhaustively analyzed by the bookmaker and significant errors seldom appear. During live betting the bookie is obliged to change the odds even if no game changing factors take place (a goal or a red card). This is the point where the bookie is just as vulnerable as the bettor is, because he has to adjust odds according to the remaining time.
Where most stakes head to
Let’s take this from the start. A group of Canadian psychologists conducted a research on how the average punter's brain reacts to stimuli during an in play football session. Following many hours of data collecting they reached the following conclusion: The majority of stakes are placed on bets that back the current outcomes, such as no more goals to be scored. You may find it hard to believe, but over 78% of all the money is staked the match to remain as it is. And that’s true for every market, from the usual 1X2 bet to special bets such as over/under, Both Teams to Score or even Correct Score.
This happens regardless of the offered odds. As time goes by, the odds of the current outcome continue to shorten. After 25-30 minutes of play, a draw result could fall of from 3.00 to even under 2.50 odds. Punters will keep on backing these underrated odds, as they believe its safer to bet this way, instead of chasing a future outcome. That’s why bookies try so hard to equilibrate the staked money with their odds, but are also keeping an eye on their starting estimation.
Ideal bookies for live betting
Overrated and underrated odds
The basic rule is that odds on existing outcomes in most cases are undervalued. That’s reasonable, as a bookmaker like Energybet will be trying to tempt the punter to bet on different aspects by offering them at higher odds. That’s why sometimes you'll see a live 1-1 match heading to the 80th minutes with the under 2.5 option standing at 1.20 odds and the over 2.5 as high as 4.50, even though things could drastically change with a single goal during the last 10 minutes.
Under/Over 1,5 goals: The perfect balance
This trend of preferring the current aspect odds instead of backing an altered outcome takes place in practically all types of bets except for a single special one! The Over/Under 1.5 goal bet. That’s where even bookies give up their efforts to manage the stakes, as the money heading to Over 1.5 and Under 1.5 option are virtually the same (52% to 48% of total stakes, the Under 1.5 option still winning). Even on matches stuck as goalless draws with less than 10 minutes remaining, many punters stake the option of more than one goals to be scored before the final whistle!
The reason bookies hate this type of bet is really simple. The 50/50 balance appears to be achieved without putting too much effort, seeing that the stakes are equally balanced. But the bookmakers will never be calm about this bet, as they are risking to pay more than expected in case two goals are scored in short time, especially to the end of the tie. Odds as high as 5.00 are frequently confirmed when a team is scoring back-to-back goals in the dying moments of a match or there’s an attacking reaction from the team that conceded a goal. There’s always a logical explanation:
When a goal is scored during the last 10 minutes of play, the team that conceded will react under time pressure, adapting a more aggressive and attacking style of play with more players up front to equalize, so there will be more chances for the winning team to score a second one. Regardless of your betting style, you should always have in mind that you’d better stake on outcomes that will change the course of the match, instead of the current ones. The odds are much more tempting and profitable, especially if like us, you're always looking for valued ones.
Best bookmakers for live betting